Ten months after a drunken college student allegedly rammed an Audi into an auto, killing a pub employee and maiming the auto driver, police have not even filed a chargesheet.
The incident took place around 2 am on June 2, 2013. Rajesh L Reddy and two friends, Prithivan Kamat and Nikit Reddy, were allegedly returning from a drinking session, zooming in the ultra-luxe Audi Q7 at 150 kmph.
Speeding from Trinity Circle, the car crashed into an autorickshaw at Mayo Hall junction, killing Deepak (26), a pub employee and sole breadwinner of his family, on the spot. His cousin Karthik (25) received a grievous head injury. The crash also crippled auto driver Yunus Ali (26).
Rajesh, then a BBM student of Christ College and now an employee at Intel, was allegedly driving the car.
Reports said his father Lokesh Reddy, a realtor, tried to close the case by offering `5 lakh as compensation to Deepak’s family and `2 lakh each to those injured. In return, he wanted them not to press the case. The victims’ families declined, but they have had no help from the police in bringing the killer driver to book.
Police have collected CCTV footage of the accident. Those in the car fled after the crash, leaving two mobile phones behind, which the police have seized. Eyewitness are also ready to depose, but the police are leaving no doubt about whose side they are on.
When this reporter called up the Ashok Nagar police station to ask about the status of the case, the policeman who picked up the call lied, saying the chargesheet had already been filed. He disconnected the call when we sought details.
Sub-Inspector Rangappa, who dodged us and came on the line only after many attempts, said the chargesheet had been filed a month ago. When Express went to court and checked, we found no chargesheet. Court officials confirmed no chargesheet had been filed. A case number is given the moment a chargesheet is filed. No number has been given to this case, and it hasn’t come up before the courts.
Express brought this to the notice of Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar. “I can’t remember each case. You better contact the DCP concerned,” he said.
It was an open-and-shut case. The police found liquor bottles in the car and two mobile phones and could have easily tracked down the killer driver. They took two days to arrest Rajesh, giving him time to escape a blood test that would have implicated him for drunkenness.
Even after the arrest, they didn’t send him for an alcohol test. They gave the reason that doctors were not available at Victoria Hospital. They acted only after the media wrote about their laxity.
Deepak, who was killed, was the sole breadwinner of his family and was working till late in the night to feed his mother and sister. He was dreamt of giving his 12-year-old brother a good education.On the day he was killed, he was returning home after finishing his work at the pub.The families neither got any compensation nor justice in the case.
C V Nagesh, senior criminal lawyer, said police file a chargesheet within a week in cases like this. “I can’t understand why it is taking them months.”
Shockingly, the police did not do a thing for 36 hours after the accident.They gave the lame excuse that the RTO was closed, and they had not been able to track down the owner of the car.They arrested him on Monday, one full day after the accident, and delayed conducting an alcohol test, saying no doctors were available at Victorial Hospital. They tried to mediate between Rajesh’s father and the victims’ families. Then Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem said after the incident a departmental inquiry would be initiated against policemen who had helped the culprits.
A traffic police inspector was suspended and the case was transferred to another investigating officer. Rajesh has been booked under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC and he has reportedly admitted he was driving the car after drinking.
Where is the Car?
The police claim they don’t know where the car is. When Express visited the Ashok Nagar police station, there was no sign of the car.
Inspector Rangappa said he was not sure about its whereabouts.
A source said the Reddy family had taken the car away soon after the accident. “He is out on bail, boasting on Facebook about a project he is doing,” the source said.
Wife of IPS Officer, Driver DIE in CRASH
Udupi: Wife of a senior IPS officer and their driver were killed in head-on collision between a Mahindra Bolero and a KSRTC bus at Nire Bailore, near Karkala on Wednesday afternoon. The deceased have been identified as Gayathri (35), wife of DCP West, Bangalore, Labhu Ram and driver Nataraj (40). They were travelling to Udupi to visit relatives. Labhu Ram’s daughters Puneetha and Haritha and another driver Ramesh have been injured and are admitted to a hospital.
CRIME AND NO PUNISHMENT - PART I
2 am, June 2, 2013: Speeding Audi crashes into an auto, killing pub worker Deepak, wounding his cousin Karthik and sending the
auto driver Yunus Ali into a coma
6 pm, June 3: Police arrest Rajesh L Reddy, the drunk driver who
allegedly drove the Audi, 36 hours after the accident. They don’t
send him for an alcohol test
June 10: Rajesh gets bail after spending a week in police custody
Today: Deepak’s family has lost its sole breadwinner. Ali is crippled.
He can’t walk, leave alone work. Karthik suffers frequent, severe
headaches. Rajesh Reddy roams free, living a life of luxury